Imprinting your shape,
into the palm of my heart;
and floppy dewlap.
Hands smooth across
sleek red hide,
eyes clouded by tears.
Breathe in the scent of you.
‘I love you.’
‘My beautiful girl.’
'I love you.'
© Kathryn Apel December 2019
She was older than my boys – and lived in our home paddock almost as long as I have. She was my second bottle-reared calf (arriving two months after Cocoa), and for 23 years she has been just a roving glance away – a frequent visitor at the house for sweetest treats. She was our gentle giant; for many years, the fattest cow on the property, and the one cow I have never feared. Loved by many, she would happily exchange hay for pats – from family, friends and strangers.
And now, we’re shedding tears. And clinging to the memories … and a thousand photos of our beautiful Amber.
10 years of reading with Amber. Always her favourite book.
Teary hugs to my grazier husband who has shared the care of our Amber-girl, most especially in recent drought months during my extended author visits – where kids the world over have loved to hear about Amber the cow.
My beautiful Amber-girl. xx
Edit: Thank-you to my online friend Rachel, who I first met when she ordered a signed copy of ‘This is the Mud!’ because it was her daughter’s favourite book, and she’d worn it out! Rachel sent me this verse in response to my Instagram post – and I can tell she has read ‘This is the Mud’ many times. (Including tonight, in honour of Amber – when her girls wanted to know why she was crying, since it’s not a sad story! “See… she’s chewing her cud so that means she’s happy.”)
This is the author who smiles through her tears,
at the wonderful memories from 23 years,
of a happy old “Moo”, chewing her cud,
knowing how much she was ever so loved. ❤️
I cried buckets – and smiled some, too. Rachel, your poem will always be special! Thank-you! xx